Congratulations! You’ve bought yourself your dream acoustic guitar. Before you sit down and play (ok, fine, after you sit down and play) you should know that there are some things you need to do to properly take care of your guitar. You wouldn’t want that expensive, solid wood to get bent or cracked, now would you?
The best way to prevent damage to your wooden guitar is with a guitar humidifier. This will infuse enough moisture and humidity into your guitar to prevent the wood from warping and getting misshapen. So what is the best guitar humidifier, and which guitar humidifier should you buy? This list goes through the top eight best humidifiers so you can make an informed decision.
(Note that if you have a parlor guitar, mandolin, or other small instrument, not all of these humidifiers will work, since some of them are made to hang inside the soundhole and will be too large for a smaller instrument.)
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The Best Guitar Humidifiers
A complete humidity system for your guitar that can release or absorb moisture when necessary.
A popular, syringe-filled humidifier that hangs in between the guitar strings to dangle in the soundhole.
An easy to use, sponge-based humidifier that hangs into the guitar soundhole.
D’Addario Humidipak Automatic Humidity Control System (for guitar) – PW-HPK-01
D’addario is a recognized name in the guitar accessories world, and for good reason. They create quality products that actually work. The Humidipak is no exception. This is the first guitar humidity care system that controls the humidity for your guitar, releasing some moisture when necessary and absorbing moisture when necessary, to keep the guitar at a constant, perfect 45-50% humidity level. And there are no dangerous chemicals involved, either. It is all done with natural salts and water.
The Humidipak kit comes with 3 replaceable Humidipak pouches and two mesh holding bags. Place the Humidipaks inside the holding bags and drape one holding bag between the strings of the guitar and place the other bag under the headstock of the guitar inside the case. This ensures that the entire guitar will be kept at the correct humidity level, not just the body of the guitar. (Most other humidifiers only worry about the body and ignore the headstock.)
Each humidipak will last between two to six months. Replace the packs when they become firm to the touch (although some reviewers mentioned having success in revitalizing the packs by rewetting them, that is not recommended by the manufacturer and I can’t vouch for the success of doing that.)
The only system that completely regulates moisture and humidity, releasing water when necessary and absorbing moisture when necessary.
Very easy to use.
Has packs for both the body of the guitar and the headstock so no part of your guitar will be ruined due to not enough humidity.
You will need to replace the packs every few months, so it is an ongoing expense.
Guitar must be kept lying flat in an air-tight case for the system to work.
Oasis Guitar Humidifier OH-1 – For Soundhole
The Oasis Humidifier is a very popular product. It is a refillable tube that can be filled with water and then suspended from the strings of the guitar. It has a stabilizer bar to keep it in place regardless of if the guitar is lying flat or standing up. No matter the position of the guitar, the Oasis OH-1 will stay in place and not leak or crack.
It comes with a syringe to fill and refill the tube with water, which is then absorbed by the crystals inside. The crystals slowly release the water to maintain a 45-55% relative humidity for the body of the guitar. It is important to note, however, that the crystals need to be replaced annually or they will start to leak. It is also recommended to only use distilled water when refilling the humidifier.
Compact and slim design.
Absorbent crystals ensure no water leakage.
Needs to be refilled with a syringe, which is a little more complicated than just wetting a sponge.
Crystals need to be replaced annually.
Needs to be filled with distilled water.
Music Nomad MN300 Humitar Acoustic Guitar Humidifier
Music Nomad’s Humitar is a simple, easy to use, no fuss humidifier. It has an innovative Humid-i-bar sponge that holds 10 times its weight in water. The sponge also has special anti-drip properties, so you don’t need to worry about water dripping and potentially ruining your precious guitar. Simply wet the sponge, insert it into the case, and suspend the case from the guitar strings into the soundhole of the guitar. It has a convenient flip top to let you check if the sponge is still moist or if it’s dry. If it’s dry, simply remove the sponge, wet it again, then replace it in the case. Easy peasy.
It is also recommended to wet the sponge with distilled water, not tap water. If tap water is used, mold or mildew can eventually grow on the sponge. You can buy replacement sponges, though.
Very simple to use system, no syringes required to refill the sponge.
Needs to be filled with distilled water.
Sponge will eventually need to be replaced when it starts to break down or grow mold.
This Herco humidifier is pretty unique. It is a small canister filled with clay that you moisten and then put in your guitar case. The moisture evaporates from the clay through the holes in the lid and keeps your guitar moisturized and humidified. The clay will not feel wet once it is soaked (it’s not a sponge; it’s clay.) However, it still holds moisture and slowly releases it. It must be kept in a guitar case – it doesn’t hang from guitar strings like some of the other humidifiers on this list. Re-wet it twice a month, then pop it into your guitar case and forget about it. Super cheap, and super easy!
Extremely cheap and budget friendly.
Simple and easy to use.
It is hard to tell when the clay has dried out too much and needs to be resoaked because the clay always feels hard.
Some reviewers mentioned that the holes in the lid don’t allow enough moisture to be released, and that you need to either drill more holes or just keep the lid completely open.
This is another guitar humidifier from Oasis, but unlike the previous model, this humidifier is meant to be clipped into a guitar case. It does not hang from the guitar strings. It comes with a steel clip and strip so you can clip the humidifier on anywhere you like. The humidifier comes with a syringe to refill it when necessary; once again, distilled water is recommended. It comes with special absorbent crystals that absorb water to prevent leakage, and slowly emits moisture into the guitar case. This is a great option for people who are nervous to hang a humidifier from their guitar strings and want a well-reviewed case humidifier that works very well.
Case humidifier, instead of having to hang something from the guitar strings.
Absorbent crystals ensure no leakage.
Must be filled with the accompanying syringe.
Must use distilled water.
Crystals need to be changed every so often.
Can only be used in a case
D’Addario Accessories Acoustic Guitar (GH)
This humidifier is basically a small sponge in a plastic case that fits in between your guitar strings to dangle down from the strings. The absorbent sponge is soaked in water and slowly releases moisture into the body of the guitar. The exclusive no-drip design releases moisture evenly and slowly, so you don’t need to worry about drips ruining your guitar or your guitar getting too much moisture. When the sponge becomes completely dry, take it out, remoisten it, then put it back in. When wetting the sponge, always be careful to wet it, wring out any excess liquid, then return it to its case. Distilled water is recommended to prevent mold buildup, and extra sponges can be purchased from Amazon when necessary.
Simple to use system, just wet the sponge and that’s it
Needs to be used with distilled water.
May stretch the strings if you don’t insert it carefully.
Sponge needs to be replaced every so often.
Martin Guitar Humidifier
This Martin humidifier is a different style than any of the others on this list. It is made of a thin rubber tube with a sponge inside that absorbs up to ten times its weight in water. The tube slowly emits the water through small holes. You can hang the tube down into the soundhole of the guitar, in between the strings, or stick it in your guitar case. Refill the sponge every seven days or so by dipping it in a jug of distilled water until it becomes soft and pliable and then squeezing out any excess water. Dry the outside of the humidifier before hanging it inside your guitar again.
Unique tube design.
Simple and easy to use.
Can drip water if you don’t squeeze out the excess.
May be harder to tell when it needs to be refilled than other humidifier types.
NEW Revolutionary Guitar Humidifier. No lids or sponges. Easy, fast & efficient humidification. Leak Free. Lasts longer. Made in the USA by Prolix Music
This is the most unique and different humidifier on this list. There are no sponges to soak or syringes to use to refill. It has a leak free polymer core that absorbs a large amount of water. Simply soak it for 25 minutes in tap water (no distilled water necessary!), let it rest for 10 minutes to lock the water into place, and then slip it into the guitar soundhole or into your guitar case. It can be kept in the guitar while you are playing, as well, since it is not hanging from the strings of the guitar but rather resting in the guitar soundhole. There is no need to ever replace the humidifier – if used correctly, it should last a lifetime!
Unique polymer construction absorbs a large amount of water so it doesn’t need to be refilled often and is leak free.
No need for distilled water.
Can stay in the guitar soundhole while you are playing.
Durable and no need to replace it.
Some reviewers mentioned the packs exploded and beads leaked out. (This may be due to soaking the packs for too long so make sure not to soak for too long.)
What a Guitar Humidifier is and Why You Need One
As mentioned above, a humidifier is necessary to keep your wooden guitar at the proper humidity. Wood can warp and get misshapen if it is in an environment that is too dry. In fact, the most common cause of guitar damage and need for guitar repairs is lack of humidity!
Fortunately, the humidity issue is easy to fix. Just buy a simple humidifier that goes either into the soundhole of the guitar or the guitar case. The humidifier releases moisture at a slow and steady rate to keep the guitar at the proper humidity level of around 45%.
The Different Types of Guitar Humidifiers
As this list shows, there are many different types of guitar humidifiers. They all basically consist of an inner material that is soaked or filled with water, and then a case that holds the soaked material in the proper place. However, what the absorbent material is can vary greatly. Most common is some type of sponge. After that there is absorbent crystal beads. There is even one humidifier on this list made of clay! No matter what the inner absorbent material is, all of the humidifiers work well to keep your precious guitar at the proper humidity.
Another difference in types of humidifier is where they are meant to be placed. Some are made specifically to hang down into the guitar soundhole between the strings, some are made specifically to be clipped into an instrument’s case, and some are made to be placed anywhere. It is purely a personal preference which placement is better; they all work to keep your guitar humidified.
Things to Look for in a Guitar Humidifier
Since there are so many different types of guitar humidifiers, there are many different features to look out for. Here are just a few of them:
- What is the absorbent material made of? Is it crystals, clay, a sponge, or something else?
- What type of case does it have? Does it have a mesh bag to place the packs in, is it a rubber tube, does it go in a plastic case?
- How does it need to be refilled? Can it simply be soaked in water or does it need a special syringe?
- How often does it need to be refilled? Every few days, every week, twice a month?
- Where is it meant to be placed, in the guitar soundhole or in the case?
- Does the humidifier or any of its parts need to be replaced, and if so, when/how often? Are you looking at a recurrent expense here, and if so, how much will it be annually?
- How much does the humidifier cost? The ones on this list range from three bucks to around twenty dollars, so they aren’t such a big investment either way, but it is still something to consider.
A guitar humidifier is an essential piece of equipment to protect your investment in your expensive guitar. It prevents major damage to your guitar body, bridge, and neck. It is definitely a vital item to have. From this list, the D’Addario Humidipaks are our number one pick, since they are a two-way humidification system that can either release moisture or absorb moisture when necessary, so you never need to worry about your guitar’s humidification again.